NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County Commissioners held their first public meeting of the New Year. The big topic of conversation law enforcement in elementary schools. The tragic incident in Newtown, CT, has our leaders taking action.
"I think as a board we've all come to a consensus that this is important to our entire community and public safety and especially for me, with my kids in school, to me is paramount," Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said. "The other day Hoggard High School was on lockdown because someone sent an e-mail on Facebook. It kind of had my oldest daughter scared as well. So again, it is a great concern for our county commissioners."
Sheriff Ed McMahon has placed armed deputies an all of the counties elementary schools. Now the board is actively working on a plan to keep the security plan working.
The school board had a large presence at the commission meeting. Tammy Covil is a member of the county board of education and a parent.
"If I didn't feel safe, my children would not be in school," Covil said. "My children were very upset about what happened and I reassured them. If I didn't feel they were safe, I wouldn't be sending then to school."
Violence like the shootings in Newtown are shocking and many remember when you just didn't hear about things like this
"Having grown up here in New Hanover County, we never had these issues," Barfield said. "I never knew about gangs in our community. When I was growing up there were no gangs. Drug problems did not exist. You didn't hear about murders. As our society is getting further and further away from what I call biblical principles, we're getting what we're getting."
Thursday night's meeting was an agenda briefing in preparation for Monday night's full commission meeting, where the board will address the issue of school security.